Spring Synopsis: Class warfare at George M. Steinbrenner Field
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The game: In a class struggle -- New York fielded a lineup earning $92.5 million-plus against $11 million Pirates -- CC Sabathia struck out seven of 12 Pirates he faced and the Yankees limited the visitors to one hit through six innings in a 9-2 pasting before 10,191 at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Slugger Hideki Matsui drove in four runs off Virgil Vasquez with a double in the first inning and a two-run homer in the third. Ex-Yankees property Jose Tabata went 2 for 3 (.423 for the spring) with a run scored in the first.
Competition: It was just his second spring start, but Vasquez allowed seven hits and six earned runs in 21/3 innings to the Yankees. "I thought I was controlling the ball in the strike zone really well, but too much of the strike zone, maybe. I just didn't work back and forth good enough -- especially for a lineup like that. They're a great team, they're the New York Yankees. I felt like my stuff could compete with them. [But] they kept fighting, kept fouling stuff off until they got a hit. I couldn't have them just miss it."
Injury report: Outfielders Brandon Moss (wrist) and Eric Hinske (ribcage) worked in swings at Pirate City's minor-league camp yesterday. Hinske will play in the outfield today against Minnesota in his first game appearance since Feb. 26. Moss, who hasn't played since March 7, is scheduled to return to the minors' camp in hopes of a Friday return against Boston.
Today: Zach Duke is scheduled to start against Minnesota's Francisco Liriano in a 1:05 p.m. game at McKechnie Field in Bradenton. The game will be webcast at PittsburghPirates.com.
Camp roster: 45, with 21 pitchers, 4 catchers, 11 infielders and 9 outfielders.
Fun under the lights: The bright lights of the Yankees and MLB-TV, that is. Because of injuries and so many regulars getting St. Patrick's Day off, five fellows were summoned from the Pirates' minors camp. The bench fill-ins were Jeremy Farrell, son of Boston Red Sox pitching coach John, and Jordy Mercer plus pitchers Yoslan Herrera, Corey Hamman and Daniel Haigwood.
Inside pitch:From the for-what-it's-worth-in-spring department, the Pirates rank among the National League leaders in several categories. The Pirates started last night tied with San Francisco for first with 28 homers, second in runs with 110, third in slugging percentage with .478. Craig Monroe topped all major-league batters with six home runs, Andy LaRoche with a .538 average, Garrett Jones with 15 runs scored, Brian Bixler with three triples, LaRoche with a .639 on-base percentage and Monroe with 33 total bases. Paul Maholm ranked second in the majors with a 0.66 ERA and Evan Meek first with both three saves and nine games pitched.
Meet me in St. Louis: 20 days until the opener.
First Published March 18, 2009 12:00 am